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AnnArbor.com's News section covers government, crime, education, health and the environment across Washtenaw County.

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    Dylan Spurlock and Mathew Sexton celebrate after Sexton scored a touchdown for Clinton High School.

    Brianne Bowen | AnnArbor.com

    Just because you know what the other team is going to do, doesn’t mean you can stop it.

    The Manchester Flying Dutchman found that out the hard way Thursday night, dropping their season-opening game to the rival Clinton Redskins 26-14 in the 113th meeting between the teams.

    Everyone in the stadium picked up early on that the Redskins’ game plan was to run the football, then run it again and run it just a little more for good measure. However, the Dutch were unable to contain the barrage of running backs coming at them as the Redskins piled up 444 yards of offense, 340 of which came via the running game.

    More coverage: Boxscore | Photo Gallery | Football roundup

    “The defense was on the field forever and those defensive guys are our offensive guys,” said Manchester head coach Wes Gall. “So when it goes the other way, they don’t have the juice they normally would. We knew the heat was going to be a factor and we ran some people to make some changes. But we had to put our best against their best.

    “An offense that controls the ball the way they controlled the ball, they get to rest.”

    The Redskins dominated time of possession, holding on to the ball for almost 34 of the game’s 48 minutes. The Redskins ran 67 plays compared to Manchester’s 27. Gall said he was surprised at how much the Redskins ran the football, but knew the opposing offense provided some challenges.

    “(T.J.) Baker is a heck of a quarterback. I don’t think they ran him as much as they have in the past,” Gall said. “They have other guys that can run the ball. (Brett) Tschirhart is a monster, with him you want to have a six front, but you can’t always do that because you have to worry about Baker slipping out.

    “I thought they were going to pass more than they did. I think their game plan was my game plan. They wanted 16-play drives and so did we.”

    The Dutch showed some life midway through the third quarter when Trenton Upshaw forced Clinton running back Mathew Sexton to fumble. Romell Westcott recovered the fumble for the Dutch and two plays later, quarterback Ryan Stiles ran a draw for a 25-yard touchdown remaking the score 14-6.

    Clinton would respond with a 16-play, 69-yard drive that ate up more than nine minutes of clock and was capped off by a Baker 2-yard touchdown run giving the Redskins a 20-6 lead.

    “There’s the ballgame right there,” said Clinton head coach Scott McNitt. “If you have to pinpoint something, that’s the ballgame. Because they had the momentum, we were on our heels a little bit and we were able to grind it out.”

    The Redskins pounded the ball using a thunder and lightning approach with junior speedster Collin Poore leading Clinton with 118 yards rushing and a touchdown on 19 carries. A Bruising fullback, Tschirhart added 77 yards on the ground on 14 carries.

    Baker added 112 yards on the ground to go along with two rushing touchdowns. He also was perfect passing on the day going 7-for-7 for 104 yards and a touchdown.

    “That was our goal to run it and to pound it,” McNitt said. “They’ve been a nemesis of ours for years… to win on their field in the first game of the year is huge for our team.”

    Aside from a late scoring drive, the Dutch struggled offensively mounting only 134 yards of offense on the day and gaining only four first downs. Stiles was just 5-of-9 passing for 69 yards, most of which came on the last drive of the game. Jim Kurasz ran the ball eight times for 25 yards and caught one pass for 25 yards and a touchdown to lead the Dutch.

    “They didn’t give us time to pass. I have to hand it to them defensively,” Gall said. “They came right at us. Whether we didn’t sustain blocks or they got off blocks, we’ll know in the film. I don’t think they did anything that we weren’t expecting. It was a matter of their kids saying ‘I want to get off that block and get the job done.’”

    Clinton opened the scoring on its first possession with a nine-play drive capped by a 19 yard touchdown run by Poore. Baker found Sexton for a 34-yard touchdown pass late in the second quarter to give the Redskins a 14-0 lead at the half.


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    The Huron High School football team broke a 15-game losing streak which stretched back to September 9, 2011, on Friday with a 41-10 win over Windsor Massey.

    Patrick Record is a photographer for AnnArbor.com.


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    Skyline gave up a program-low 10 points and opened its season with a 28-10 win over Hartland.

    Courtney Sacco is a photographer for AnnArbor.com


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    Lincoln's Brandon Moyer takes to the field before a 2012 game.

    Daniel Brenner | AnnArbor.com file

    The last two seasons have shown the Lincoln football team the thin line between agony and ecstasy.

    Two years ago, a 6-3 regular season at Lincoln was a milestone and cause for celebration. The Railsplitters qualified for the playoffs for the first time in school history following a winless campaign the year before. Former Railsplitters’ standout Tyree Waller called it “mind-blowing.”

    Last year, one more loss by one point meant a 5-4 regular season - the Railsplitters fell 26-25 on a rainy night in Adrian. Lincoln missed the playoffs, as they had every year before 2011.

    “They felt disappointed last year by missing it at 5-4,” Lincoln coach Chris Westfall said. “And losing by a point down in Adrian was the one that they all point at, that we point at.”

    Now, with several key players back in 2013 and deep numbers, Lincoln looks to get back to postseason football in 2013. That campaign starts Friday night, 7 p.m. at Lincoln with the team’s opener against Belleville.

    The Railsplitters graduated their quarterback, Javin Kilgo, and top receiver and return man Waller, who is now at Central Michigan.

    But they sport plenty of experience coming back to the offensive line, including returning all-league left tackle Devin McCallister.

    “That’s the reason that we’re OK with so many young kids is we have a senior at left tackle, a senior at left guard, a senior at center,” Westfall said.

    Behind that offensive line will be a new quarterback in junior Eugene Smith, who will have three junior wide receivers to target -- Tyler Mabry, Lazon Hicks and KJ Osborn -- who all stand 6-foot-3 or taller.

    And on defense, linebacker E.J. Shaah cornerback and defensive back Dalauren Roberson will lead a group that, unlike some teams, can focus mostly on defense.

    “We don’t play many guys both ways,” Westfall said.

    Belleville has also been on the cusp of the playoffs, with a pair of 5-4 campaigns in the last three years. The Tigers return a senior quarterback in Drew Letwinski, but are in the process of replacing several key players on the line.

    While advancing to the playoffs is near the top of any team’s to-do list, Westfall and his squad have another item on theirs: winning a league title, something Lincoln hasn’t done since 1987.

    In 2011, Lincoln went 4-1 in SEC White play, but fell to perennial league powerhouse Chelsea. Last year, the Railsplitters completed a 3-0 non-league slate to start the year, but fell to Adrian, Chelsea and Tecumseh in league play.

    “That’s a big goal for me,” Westfall said of a league title. “If we can break through and win the SEC when there’s Chelsea and Adrian and Tecumseh, that would be a huge accomplishment too. That’s big for us.”

    Kyle Austin covers sports for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached at kyleaustin@annarbor.com or 734-623-2535. Follow him on Twitter @KAustin_AA.


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    Jessie Lipkowitz plans to open aUM Yoga on North University Avenue on Sept. 1.

    Photo by Doug Combe

    A new yoga studio tailored to fit the needs of University of Michigan students and faculty as well as local business employees plans to open Sunday, Sept. 1 on North University Avenue.

    aUM Yoga is opening in the 900-square-foot space at 715 N. University underneath Silvio's Organic Pizza. The building is owned by SRK Investments.

    What is now a cozy, one room studio with freshly painted lavender walls was originally used as storage space until a pilates studio moved in and completely converted the location about a year ago. According Chris LaBelle of SRK Investments, the space was vacant for six months before aUM owner Jessie Lipkowitz, a U-M graduate, signed the lease.

    “I’m very excited to have aUM Yoga move in ,” LaBelle said. “I think that Jessie is a go-getter and she is making wonderful changes in the building already. Down the hall is Nola's Underground Salon and the combination of the two in the building is wonderful. The energy level is so high.”

    Lipkowitz began working on the space immediately upon signing the lease, and she said there are still a few things that need to be done before the studio opens.

    “We’ve done a lot to the space to make it our own,” she said. “It used to have a drop ceiling, which we tore out and we’ve installed new lighting, painted and decorated since moving in.”

    aum_yoga_studio_space.jpg

    aUM Yoga is a one-room studio offering about 30 classes per week.

    Photo by Jessie Lipkowitz

    The studio will offer about 30 classes a week, and will be open seven days a week. Classes start on Michigan Time — or 10 minutes after the hour, so students can come directly from class. The aUM Yoga website has class descriptions, which includes power vinyasa, slow flow and intro to flowing yoga, among others.

    “We have a variety of classes - heated and non-heated - as well as a range of classes from easy to hard,” Lipkowitz said. “But what is really going to excite people is the price.”

    Drop in classes are $12 and Lipkowitz said the studio plans to offer happy hour sessions for $6 Monday through Friday.

    A package of unlimited classes from Sept. 3 to April 30 costs $500, and a monthly package of unlimited classes for people affiliated with U-M costs $95. (See the website for more on pricing)

    On top of offering affordable classes, Lipkowitz plans to make the atmosphere more fun and collaborative than your typical studio, she said.

    “A lot of yoga studios take themselves too seriously, which can be a huge turnoff, especially to those who are just starting out,” Lipkowitz said. “That’s why we’re offering classes with fun names like ‘Funky Jams: Power Vinyasa’ and 'This is Sexy and Slow: Slow Flow'; It keeps things light.”

    Lipkowitz said she also plans to offer occasional late night classes for students stuck in the library who are in need of a break.

    As a graduate of U-M in 2011, Lipkowitz said she based her plans for the new studio off of her experience as a student.

    “This is where I would have wanted to come when I was a student and I hope current students will enjoy the fun atmosphere,” she said.

    Lipkowitz also hopes to offer up a fun environment for local businesses to host healthy bonding events for employees. Businesses will be able to purchases an exclusive time slot or drop-in passes at a discounted rate.

    “I would eventually love Sunday to be industry day and reserve time for businesses to have special classes for their employees,” Lipkowitz said.

    aum_yoga_silvios_building.jpg

    The yoga studio is located underneath Silvio's Organic Pizza.

    Chelsea Hoedl I AnnArbor.com

    Private classes for groups or individuals can be scheduled and Lipkowitz said she is open to renting the space out to other instructors or groups during off hours when no classes are scheduled.

    aUM will staff between 10 and 15 instructors, she said.

    “The instructors have full creativity,” Lipkowitz said. “We’re totally open to suggestions by clients and instructors to make the studio and classes fit their needs. Sometimes yoga can be strict and limited, but that’s not what aUM is going to be about.”

    The studio will host a grand opening on Sept. 1 and 2. During those two days, aUM Yoga will offer free classes and anyone who buys a package will get 10 percent to 15 percent off and a free T-shirt while supplies last.

    Lipkowitz said she is hoping to see about 100 people show up for the grand opening. Regularly scheduled classes will begin on Sept. 3.

    aUM instructors will also be teaching five free classes at the new Lululemon on Washtenaw Avenue starting Aug. 31 as a part of the "Studio of the Month" program.

    On Sundays in October, aUM will hold an inversion workshop taught by yoga instructor Kelli Harrington.

    Check out aUM Yoga's website, Facebook and Twitter for more information on classes, pricing and the grand opening.

    Chelsea Hoedl is an intern reporter for AnnArbor.com. She can be reached at choedl@mlive.com.


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    If you rely on the bus to get around Ann Arbor, be forewarned there will be service disruptions and detours on football Saturdays starting this weekend.

    Parts of multiple streets in the Michigan Stadium area, including Main Street from Stadium to Pauline, will close or be redirected because of University of Michigan home football games.

    AATA_bus_060713_RJS_001.jpg

    The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority will detour bus routes around the Michigan Stadium area in an attempt to avoid traffic congestion and maintain timely service.

    Ryan J. Stanton | AnnArbor.com

    The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority will detour routes around the area in an attempt to avoid traffic congestion and maintain timely service.

    The detours will be in effect every home game throughout the football season, starting with this Saturday's 3:30 p.m. matchup against Central Michigan University.

    U-M home football games for 2013 take place on the following dates: Aug. 31, Sept. 7, Sept. 14, Oct. 5, Oct. 19, Nov. 9 and Nov. 30.

    AirRide

    Select AirRide trips during home football games will not serve the Blake Transit Center. Riders are advised to use the Kensington Court hotel stop for these trips.

    Please see MyAirRide.com for schedule information.

    The following fixed-routes buses will be detoured for about two hours before and after each home football game:

    Route 6

    • to Ann Arbor — regular route on Industrial, right on Stadium, left on Golden, right on Granger, left on Packard, right on State to resume regular route.
    • to Ypsilanti/Meijer — regular route on State, left on Packard, right on Granger, left on Park Place, cross Stadium to resume regular route on Industrial.

    Route 7

    • from downtown — start at BTC. South on Fourth Avenue, left on Packard, right on Granger, left on Park Place, straight on Industrial, right on Eisenhower, left on Plaza Drive, resume regular route at Briarwood.
    • to downtown — regular route from Briarwood. Left on Briarwood Circle, right on Plaza Drive, right on Eisenhower, left on Industrial, right on Stadium, left on Golden, right on Granger, left on Packard, right on Division, left on William, right on Fifth Avenue to BTC.

    Route 8

    • from BTC — start at BTC. South on Fourth Avenue, right on Madison, left on Seventh, right on Pauline to resume regular route.
    • to BTC — regular route on Pauline, left on Seventh, right on Madison, left on Fourth Avenue to BTC.

    Route 15

    • from BTC — start at BTC. South on Fourth Avenue, right on Madison, cross Main Street to resume regular route.
    • to BTC — regular route on Madison, cross Main Street, left on Fourth Avenue to BTC.

    Route 16

    • from BTC — start at BTC. South on Fourth Avenue, right on Madison, left on Seventh, right on Scio Church, left on Oak Valley, left on Waters, serve Target using opposite side of street, cross Ann Arbor-Saline Road to resume regular route on Lohr Road to Meijer.
    • to Downtown — regular route on Oak Valley from Meijer, cross Ann Arbor-Saline Road to continue on Oak Valley, right on Scio Church, left on Seventh, right on Madison, left on Fourth Avenue to BTC.

    Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at ryanstanton@annarbor.com or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to AnnArbor.com's email newsletters.


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    Students stand outside of East Quadrangle during a fire drill on Wednesday. The dorm would get its first call for an intoxicated student needing medical treatment at 4:53 p.m. Wednesday.

    Brianne Bowen | AnnArbor.com

    On Wednesday, the first University of Michigan freshmen got to move into East Quadrangle, 701 E. University Ave., for the fall semester.

    Move in started at 8 a.m. at East Quad. Nearly nine hours later, at 4:53 p.m., University of Michigan Police and medical personnel received the first call to take an intoxicated student to the hospital.

    It was the start of a busy Wednesday evening and Thursday morning of the first big move-in day on campus. A total of 19 people came into contact with the University of Michigan Police Department Wednesday night and Thursday morning for alcohol-related incidents, up from eight on Aug. 29 and Aug 30 (the Wednesday night and Thursday morning of move in) last year.

    During the entire welcome weekend last year, eight people were cited for being minors in possession of alcohol by U-M Police and nine intoxicated students had to be taken to the hospital. Ann Arbor police issued 112 tickets for MIPs, open containers, urinating in public and disorderly conduct during 2012's welcome weekend, Lt. Renee Bush said.

    According to the UMPD’s daily summary, nine students were transported to the University of Michigan Hospital’s emergency room between 4:53 p.m. Wednesday and 4:30 a.m. Thursday. Another two people not affiliated with the university also needed to go to the hospital for being intoxicated. That's more than double the five who went to the hospital on the corresponding days in 2012.

    U-M Police Chief Joe Piersante said police are ready for the increase in action.

    “First, we want to be sure students receive appropriate medical attention if they have over-consumed,” he said. “Additionally, we do expect increased enforcement action as our campus population returns.”

    Police arrested two people for being minors in possession of alcohol and eight people were involved in alcohol violations that will be handled internally by University Housing staff, according to the summary.

    Joyce Williams, spokeswoman for Huron Valley Ambulance, said the agency’s paramedics are ready for the uptick in calls to Ann Arbor now that students have returned.

    “We’re prepared on a regular basis, but we’re certainly aware of the trends,” she said regarding HVA staffing levels during students’ first week back. “Especially for the football game, we put a lot of extra staff on because we’re not only dealing with intoxicated people, we have the heat to be concerned about.”

    Some U-M freshman students began moving into dorms on Tuesday, but Wednesday was the first day many dorms were open. Move in continued on Thursday for freshman, and all remaining students will move in on Friday.

    Eastern Michigan University students do not start moving in on campus until Aug. 31, according to the university’s website. The EMU Police Department’s daily log has not been updated since Monday, so numbers of alcohol-related incidents were not available for the corresponding days.

    The two arrests made by U-M police took place at 8:06 p.m. and 11:21 p.m. Wednesday. In the first incident, an underage student was found sleeping in a stairwell at the Glen Carport, 300 Glen St. The student was arrested for an MIP and released pending authorization of a warrant.

    The second arrest was made in the 2100 block of Hubbard Street. Two staff members were attempting to help an intoxicated student — who would be taken to U-M Hospital by ambulance — when they were assaulted by a second person. The second person was arrested for MIP and then also taken to U-M Hospital for treatment, according to police.

    At U-M, Housing Security in the Mary Markley Residence Hall broke up a large party, 1503 Washington Heights, at 9:27 p.m. Tuesday. Alcohol was dumped and minors were present, but staff will handle that incident internally, according to police.

    Police and medical personnel also responded to Mary Markley later in the night to treat an intoxicated student, as well as to Mosher-Jordan Hall, 200 Observatory St.; Bursley Hall, 1931 Duffield St.; and the 1700 block of Murfin Street.

    The final ambulance run of the night came at 3:07 a.m. on Hill Street, when an intoxicated student was taken to U-M Hospital. Williams said that fits with the range of the unpredictable student populace.

    “We have such a range (of times HVA makes runs), every day is so different,” she said. “It’s dependent on many different factors. We have people who are continually picked up for being intoxicated and they don’t always have the same pattern."

    She added: "Students don’t have a set pattern, and most of that is pretty erratic except for the uptick when the students come back.”

    Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached at kylefeldscher@annarbor.com or you can follow him on Twitter.


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    Route 4 buses will see extended hours in Ypsilanti Township under a proposed plan for increased service in the AAATA's "urban core" municipalities.

    Tom Perkins | For AnnArbor.com

    Ypsilanti Township is considering joining a proposed “urban core” of municipalities in the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority.

    Membership would bring vastly expanded bus service to Ypsilanti Township, including extended hours of service and increased frequency for some existing routes.

    Ypsilanti Township Supervisor Brenda Stumbo said the move would have a positive economic impact on the township and its residents.

    “Expanded service will be an asset to our residents, community and the county as a whole,” Stumbo said. “We have a need and desire for connectivity to the greater Ann Arbor area and it will provide a choice to our residents for transportation.

    "Jobs are the answer to our current economic downturn, and providing the availability of transportation will help towards our goal of creating jobs.”

    So far, the City of Ypsilanti has joined the AAATA, and Pittsfield Township and Saline could join as well.

    AAATA officials stressed that the proposed changes to their routes are only a draft, though the current proposal has service hours in Ypsilanti Township increasing by 42 percent.

    The township currently contracts for service for $306,000 annually. Becoming a member of the AAATA and receiving increased service would increase the price, though AAATA officials say they are still in the process of determining a cost structure.

    Route 4, which serves Washtenaw Avenue and is the AAATA’s busiest route, would extend service for an additional hour until 12:30 a.m. on weekdays and service would be extended from 7 p.m. until 12:30 a.m. on Saturdays. On Sunday, Route 4 buses would start 45 minutes earlier at 7:48 a.m. and end at 7:30 p.m., an hour later than they currently stop running.

    Route 5, which serves Packard Road, would run for a half hour longer on weekdays until 11:30 p.m. and for four additional hours, until 10:30 p.m., on Saturdays. On Sundays, Route 5 would start a half hour earlier at 8:15 a.m. and run an hour later until 7:15 p.m.

    The Route 6 bus on Ellsworth Road would also see similar extended hours and increased frequencies on weekdays.

    Three Ypsilanti Township routes — 10, 11 and 20 — would be split into seven new routes. The routes would start from the Ypsilanti Transit Center and are as follows:

    • Route I: Runs east on Forest Avenue to Ford Boulevard and heads north. The route then goes east on Clark Road before circling around MacArthur Boulevard and Wiard Road, then back to Clark Road.
    • Route J: Serves the East Michigan Avenue corridor, then cuts back west on Holmes Road to Spencer Lane. The route then reconnects with East Michigan Avenue.
    • Route K: Serves Ecorse Road and the West Willow neighborhood.
    • Route L: Serves the Interstate 94 service drive, Harris Road neighborhoods and southeast Grove Road from Harris to the Lakewood Shopping Plaza on Rawsonville Road.
    • Route M: Serves Whittaker Road and stops at the Ypsilanti Township Hall, the Ypsilanti District Library’s main branch, the Paint Creek shopping plaza and residential areas on Huron River Drive, Tuttle Hill and Textile Roads.
    • Route N: Serves the city of Ypsilanti’s south side, West Michigan Avenue, Hewitt Road and Congress Street.
    • Route O: Serves the Ford Boulevard corridor, Harris Road, Grove Road and the southeast section of the city of Ypsilanti.

    The plan also expands the “dial-a-ride” program, which allows disabled and senior citizen riders to arrange for a ride to a fixed bus route. Express service to Ann Arbor will also be expanded, and there are plans for a park-and-ride somewhere in the township.

    After AAATA officials gave a presentation on the proposed routes to the Ypsilanti Township Board of Trustees at its Aug. 26 meeting, Trustee Stan Eldridge questioned whether joining the urban core would provide the township with a seat on the authority’s governing board. Michael Benham, the AAATA’s strategic planner, said the township would have to request that and negotiate with the authority.

    When the City of Ypsilanti joined, it was granted a seat on the board after it requested one and the board’s size increased from seven to nine members. An Ypsilanti representative took one seat and another seat was provided to the City of Ann Arbor.

    The township didn’t take any action, though it will vote on requesting to join the AAATA at a meeting still to be determined.

    “It’s important to have as many communities participate as possible,” said AAATA communications manager Mary Stasiak. “It’s good when people are at the table and can be a part of policy and decision making. We’ve been partners (with Ypsilanti Township) for quite a long time and this just makes sense.”

    Ypsilanti Township has contracted with the authority since 1983.

    “Transportation has been a priority for our township residents and board members for many years,” Stumbo said. “By joining the AAATA Urban Core, which currently includes Ypsilanti City and Ann Arbor, it solidifies the commitment we have had for transportation. We think beyond our borders and this is another step in that direction.”

    The Ann Arbor City Council recently approved the City of Ypsilanti’s request to join what was then the AATA. After Ypsilanti joined, the authortiy became the AAATA.

    Ypsilanti Township would receive rights granted to members of the authority under Act 55, the state law under which Ann Arbor incorporated the city's transit authority in July 1968.


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    082813_ACTIVE_SHOOTER_TRAINING_4.JPG

    A makeshift barricade in front of a doorway that was constructed during an ALICE program training exercise at the Washtenaw Intermediate School District offices. School staff practice standing in safe places.

    Courtesy photo

    School districts across Washtenaw County will be adopting a new school safety framework this fall that gives staff more options when responding to threats of active shooters.

    At the consensus of all of the police agencies in the county, staff in all of the county’s public schools as well as Eastern Michigan University and Washtenaw Community College will be trained using the ALICE program this year, said Derrick Jackson, public information officer for the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office.

    The method places a priority on getting away from danger, and if that’s not possible, knowing how to hide and stay secure in place with all the tools available -- not just by locking a door.

    “We’re talking about lots of staff, lots of school buildings,” Jackson said. “ There will soon be trained staff from every school district in the county.”

    082813_ACTIVE_SHOOTER_TRAINING.JPG

    Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office Deputy Jeremy Hilobuck carries an unloaded gun in a training exercise as a part of the ALICE program at the Washtenaw Intermediate School District offices.

    Courtesy photo

    The ALICE acronym stands for Alert-Lockdown-Inform-Counter-Evacuate.

    It was created by a law enforcement officer, Greg Crane, after the 1999 tragedy at Columbine High School as an alternative to the way schools were preparing for active threats through lockdown drills.

    “The primary difference is that we don’t teach a particular response, and we don’t believe that you can write a one-size-fits-all approach,” Crane said in an interview with AnnArbor.com. “Our philosophy was that, let’s stop giving people a plan and telling them they have to follow that particular plan. Let’s give them training and the authority and the ability to make their own decisions based on their own sensory input.”

    The system trains teachers and school staff how to evaluate a situation and respond if they’re threatened by an active shooter in a school.

    Instead of locking the classroom door and having students hide in a corner, the ALICE program trains teachers to use their instincts to decide if evacuating is a feasible option. The program also encourages barricading doors if evacuation is not an option, and teaches confrontation techniques to deter a shooter if face-to-face contact is made.

    “How you train is how you respond,” Jackson said. “You either respond with fight, flight or freeze.”

    Lockdown training effectively teaches people to freeze in an active shooter situation in a school, Crane said—which is why he developed the ALICE program.

    “It’s not so much that the (lockdown) strategy doesn’t have its merits,” Crane said, stating that the danger is in making it the only strategy.

    The ALICE program empowers the community to act by giving them options for responding to unpredictable, dangerous situations, Jackson said.

    A search for school preparedness

    Police agencies in Washtenaw County were confronted with questions about the safety of schools and preparedness of staff to deal with active shooters in the wake of the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December, Jackson said.

    "We know that the former lockdown protocol left our students and staff vulnerable and that more needed to be done to empower staff to take actions designed to save lives and buy more time until law enforcement officials could arrive on the scene," said Scott Menzel, superintendent of Washtenaw Intermediate School District and Ypsilanti Community Schools.

    A number of options were considered—from drafting a new plan for Washtenaw County schools to using Department of Homeland Security data to adopting the Run, Hide, Fight program, Jackson said.

    Jackson said the sheriff’s office discovered the ALICE program as it was being implemented in the Lincoln Park School District in Wayne County.

    After watching the training program and how it was received in Lincoln Park schools, Jackson said the sheriff’s office recommended it to police chiefs in departments in Washtenaw County and they approved the choice. Superintendents in all of the county's school districts have agreed to the program.

    "The training has been well-received by the local school districts, and the administrators who participated in the training feel good about having a more comprehensive plan were such an event to occur," Menzel said.

    To date, there are police officers from every agency in Washtenaw County that have gone through the ALICE training program. They’re now responsible for training individuals in each school district, and the school districts will pass the training on to all of their staff.

    Jackson said there were individuals in the training that had doubts about the effectiveness of the program—until they underwent an active shooter scenario in which a deputy fired blank rounds.

    The simulations are a part of the overall training process for staff, Jackson said.

    For Washtenaw County schools, it will be up to each individual district to determine how the ALICE program will be discussed with students, if at all, Jackson said. Conversations won’t happen with elementary school students, Jackson said.

    Jackson stressed that implementation of the ALICE program will be a community conversation, as it is easily applicable to private schools, charter schools, preschools, hospitals and small to large businesses.

    Designated emergency response teams in each district have already received the new training. For Ann Arbor Public Schools, spokeswoman Liz Margolis is among those that have received the training.

    Margolis said that the training schedule is still being finalized and that parents will be notified of the change in the school's approach by letter.

    A future parent session is also in the works for those that want to know more, Margolis said.

    How the ALICE program works

    The ALICE program is in use in 30 states by about 3 million staff and students, Crane said.

    “We’ve told people for years that they have to stay in the building where there’s a very violent situation,” Crane said. “Not everyone is going to be in the same level of danger inside the building.”

    Crane said the ALICE program places a priority on getting away from danger, and if that’s not possible, knowing how to be secure without just relying on a door.

    “How do you make yourself a harder target?” Crane said.

    082813_ACTIVE_SHOOTER_TRAINING3.JPG

    Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office Deputy Jeremy Hilobuck carries an unloaded gun in a training exercise as a part of the ALICE program at the Washtenaw Intermediate School District offices.

    Courtesy photo

    If a teacher chooses to keep their class in lockdown mode—securing in place, as Crane calls it—the ALICE program teaches them how to barricade their door to make it harder to open and gain access.

    “We’ve found in many of the (active shooter) situations that when they tried to breach (the door) and weren’t able to gain entry, they’ve moved on,” Crane said. “Every active shooter knows the police are on their way.”

    Should contact be made with a shooter, the ALICE program trains people how to counter the potential attack.

    Distracting a shooter by making noise or visually throwing them off allows you to gain distance from them—which in turns improves your outcome, Crane said.

    “People don’t understand what an impact distance has on accurate shooting,” Crane said.

    The counter methods the ALICE program includes have come under fire by critics, Crane said.

    One of the counter techniques the program advocates for is throwing items at a shooter’s face, because people are naturally inclined to duck if something is thrown at their face, Crane said.

    “Our critics say it’s crazy to throw a stapler at a gunman,” Crane said, explaining: “A stapler is not a weapon; it’s a distraction.”

    The ALICE program also recommends schools stop using the word “lockdown” in the event of an active shooter in the building.

    “Tell them what you know—if their lives are in danger, everyone deserves to know what’s going on,” Crane said. “Don’t give people commands; give them information.”

    Amy Biolchini is the K-12 education reporter for AnnArbor.com. Reach her at (734) 623-2552, amybiolchini@annarbor.com or on Twitter.


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    Joe Truzzolino and his roommates were setting up a keg in the front yard of their off-campus rental on Hill Street when they received a surprise visit from the Ann Arbor police chief.

    Chief John Seto wasn't there the bust them —Truzzolino is of legal drinking age, after all— but instead welcome them to the neighborhood and hand them a packet filled with information on how to live safely in the neighborhoods surrounding University of Michigan's campus.

    "You're on a really busy street," Seto told the Hill Street residents he approached Thursday. "You're on city property, across the street is U-M property, but we work closely together."

    Truzzolino said that although the conversation was his first interaction with police this school year, it likely won't be the last time an officer visits his rental.

    "I am not going to lie...Saturday night they might be here," he said. "I hope not, but it always happens."

    Joining Seto was U-M Police Chief Joe Piersante, U-M's Director of its Division of Public Safety and Security Eddie Washington, the school's director of community relations, the dean of students, Ann Arbor City Administrator Steve Powers, City Councilwoman Sabra Briere and several students.

    As part of U-M's Beyond the Diag program, the group canvassed student neighborhoods Thursday to give off-campus residents information on safety, neighborly behavior and U-M events for off-campus students.

    The reaction of most students was positive — that is, after they recovered from the initial confusion of having police knock on their doors.

    "[Students were] a little surprised to see me until I introduced myself and said I'm here to welcome you, you're not under arrest," Piersante said.

    U-M student Brad Murphy, who lives in a large rental house on Hill Street, said he got a "positive vibe" from police. Even so, Murphy said he'll probably see officers later this fall under different circumstances.

    "We throw the football pre-games here so it's kind of expected," he said.

    U-M and city officials began canvassing neighborhoods three years ago, when the school launched its Beyong the Diag program. Several student "ambassadors" visit off-campus neighborhoods when school begins each year and work to create positive relationships in each neighborhood. Ambassadors work in 12 neighborhoods, including one in North Campus.

    "When a student lives in the residence hall the first or second year and moves out of the residence hall and goes into the Greek Community, they are used to us providing the safety because we've got doors that automatically lock and we've got security guards in the residence hall," said U-M Vice President for Student Affairs E. Royster Harper. "So what can become an issue for us is when you sort-of move beyond the Diag; when you leave central campus or residence life."

    She added: "This transition into living in the neighborhoods was a rocky one. Sometimes the neighbors were unhappy. The students were unhappy. Students would do not-so-wise things like leaving their doors unlocked, their windows up."

    Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for AnnArbor.com. Reach her at kelliewoodhouse@annarbor.com or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.


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    The way it’s usually done, local musicians launch bands here and, if they’re lucky, find success elsewhere. The Olllam is doing it the other way around.

    The band, founded recently in Ireland by Ann Arbor multi-instrumentalist Tyler Duncan and Irish musician / uilleann piper John McSherry (of Lunasa fame), will bring songs from a new CD to The Ark Tuesday.

    the_olllam_Poster.jpg

    The Olllam

    Courtesy photo

    The group also includes locals Mike Shimmin and Joe Dart. And, although not officially in the band, Ann Arbor’s Theo Katzman will be playing guitar for The Ark show.

    Duncan, frontman for the currently-on-hiatus Ella Riot, has had a busy summer playing in “Glee” star Darren Criss’ band, working with “The Voice” runner-up Michelle Chamuel on her upcoming CD and also recording another s/he duo project with Chamuel. That’s not to mention a recent stint in Ireland where The Olllam did a few gigs and polished off the new CD, a mix of traditional and more contemporary sounds.

    “It is utterly groove-based - we get people dancing when we tour in Ireland,” Duncan said. “Some people call it trance-y. The grooves are funky, but they are not funk. They are rocking but they aren’t rock. They’re kind of dark and pulsing. It’s a cool combination, these simple stark melodies with a pulsing groove machine happening underneath it.”

    Listeners may be reminded of modern artists such as Radiohead and Coldplay at one moment and seminal Irish artists such as The Bothy Band and Planxty at another.

    Building on their friendship and shared musical history together, Duncan and McSherry collaborated via Skype, email, and cellphone voice memos to write songs for The Olllum’s CD.

    PREVIEW

    The Olllam

    • Who: John McSherry, Tyler Duncan, Mike Shimmin and Joe Dart.
    • What: Transatlantic Irish-crossover band.
    • Where: The Ark, 316 S. Main St.
    • When: 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3.
    • How much: $15. Info: www.theark.org or 731-761-1800.
    Duncan has known McSherry since they met by chance in a pub when Duncan was a kid.

    “He was like my hero, my musical ideal. I was over (in Ireland) with my parents for a year when I was 13 and happened, through amazing serendipity the first week we were there, to meet him in a pub in a very small town. We turned into really good friends. John is one of my musical mentors,” Duncan said.

    They’ve been talking about a project together since Duncan was 16 (he’s 26 now and just bought a house in Ann Arbor) but college and other projects got in the way. Finally earlier this year they were able to make the band - and an accompanying CD of original music - happen.

    And the name?

    “It has a few meanings,” Duncan said. “It is a word from ancient court, the king’s bard, who would play music, tell a story, tell poetry. Today it is slang for professor in Gaelic.”


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    A group of men came to the aid of a student during an armed robbery attempt on the University of Michigan’s campus early Friday morning, police said

    Thumbnail image for UMPD-patch-class-A.jpg
    An unknown suspect approached a student who was walking about 2 a.m. near the West Hall Arch, 1085 S. University Ave., U-M police said in a crime alert sent out Friday morning. The suspect tried to take the man’s wallet twice and threatened to shoot him, according to police.

    When the student refused to hand over his wallet, the suspect punched him in the face. That’s when the group of other men intervened, pulling the suspect away from the victim, who then fled the scene. The suspect also managed to get away, police said.

    The suspect is described as a black man in his mid 20s, 6-feet tall with a slim build. He was wearing a gray long-sleeved baggy jacket, dark cargo-style pants and a gray beanie cap.

    Anyone with information on this incident is encouraged to call the University of Michigan Police Department at 734-763-1131.


    View Larger Map

    Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached at kylefeldscher@annarbor.com or you can follow him on Twitter.


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    Main_Street_closure_083013.jpg

    This map shows the University of Michigan's plan for creating a vehicle-free zone around Michigan Stadium during football games. The red lines represent hard closures with police barricades, the blue lines represent soft closures with police allowing controlled local traffic, the yellow lines represent soft closures, and the pink areas represent street closures.

    City of Ann Arbor

    In case you haven't gotten the memo already, Main Street will completely shut down in front of the Big House for Saturday's football game in Ann Arbor.

    Exactly how that will play out remains to be seen, but don't be surprised if you see police redirecting traffic around the stadium using Stadium and Pauline boulevards and Seventh Street.

    This scene is expected to repeat itself during all home football games this fall as the University of Michigan puts in place a plan to create a vehicle-free zone around the stadium.

    07162013_EDU_PaulinetoStadium_DJB_0024-1.jpg

    Main Street will be closed between Pauline and Stadium boulevards both before and during, though not after, University of Michigan football games this fall, starting with Saturday's game.

    Daniel Brenner | AnnArbor.com

    The enhanced security measures were recommended by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which has warned thousands of people could be killed if a terrorist detonated a vehicle bomb outside the Big House.

    Northbound Main Street will close three hours before the game and remain closed until the end of the game. Southbound Main Street will close starting one hour before the game, a compromise the city made to allow patrons to access neighborhood parking areas west of the stadium.

    The game starts at 3:30 p.m.

    Provisions will be made for properties — including lawn parking areas — with access exclusively on Main Street, according to police.

    In addition to barricades preventing motorists from driving down Main Street between Pauline and Stadium, there will be some "soft closures" in the neighborhood just west of the stadium, with police allowing controlled local traffic on those streets.

    The City Council voted 7-4 earlier this month to authorize the street closings in the vicinity of Michigan Stadium, a move supported by Police Chief John Seto.

    Seto said he's on the scene during all home football games and he'll be focusing on the Main Street closure for the first few games and evaluating how it's working out.

    A community meeting with the Ann Arbor Police Department is scheduled for 6 p.m. Sept. 24 at Pioneer High School to discuss any potential modifications to the road closures. Seto and other officials will be on hand at that meeting to collect feedback from the public.

    Questions also can be submitted to police@a2gov.org.

    In addition to Main Street, the university's plan includes closing Keech Street between Main and Greene streets, limiting access to parking permit holders on Greene Street from Hoover to Keech streets; and closing the westbound right-turn lane (onto Main Street) on Stadium Boulevard.

    After the game — or at the discretion of the city's police chief — barricades will be removed as soon as practical and Main Street will be open for traffic leaving town.

    If you want to mark your calendars, this year's home games fall on Aug. 31, Sept. 7, Sept. 14, Oct. 5, Oct. 19, Nov. 9 and Nov. 30.

    Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at ryanstanton@annarbor.com or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to AnnArbor.com's email newsletters.


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    It absolutely will.

    College football returns to Ann Arbor this weekend and it looks like it's going to be a pretty standard August game in Michigan Stadium: Hot and sweaty.

    Labor Day weekend is the unofficial end of summer, but it's all good because it kicks off the best season of the year: Football season. While some of us will be looking toward East Lansing Friday to see how the Spartans fare against the Western Michigan University Broncos (Go Green!), I'm sure most of you are concerned with the forecast for tailgate and kickoff here in Ann Arbor.

    Don't worry, everything seems like it should be positively beautiful here in our fair city. For the 110,000-plus of you going to the game on Saturday, make sure you stay hydrated and keep cool in that bowl of a building.

    For more weather forecasts, check out AnnArbor.com/weather and Mark Torregrosa's forecast at MLive.com/weather.

    Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached at kylefeldscher@annarbor.com or you can follow him on Twitter.


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    093013_BIZ_ForRent_MRM_01A.jpg

    City Place on South Fifth Avenue in Ann Arbor is advertising bedrooms for lease for fall 2013 on its website.

    Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com

    Thousands of new and returning University of Michigan students are making their annual trek to town this week, and many landlords are turning over rental units for the new lease term.

    As students return, landlords are reporting few — if any — vacancies at student rental properties surrounding campus and downtown.

    “We are fully leased for our student properties,” said Jeff Starman of Ann Arbor’s Wickfield Properties, which owns and manages properties near campus. “We have very few apartment building openings even off-campus. Our student housing was virtually full probably back in May.”

    Despite the recent addition of high-rise student apartment buildings such as Zaragon West, Landmark and The Varsity, Starman said this year’s rental market was the strongest it has been in years.

    The university's 1,180-bed South Quad dormitory is also closed this year as part of a nearly decade-long initiative to renovate dorms, possibly impacting the rental market.

    “I think it has been a really good year,” Starman said. “It’s typical of how it was in the past. We’ve already had people calling in desperate to rent for next year.”

    In landlord world, the week before U-M classes start is typically turn over week, which means cleaning crews frantically prepare apartments for new tenants, and maintenance workers make any necessary building repairs.

    the_varsity_finished_exterior.jpg

    The Varsity opened in August on Ann Arbor's East Washington Street.

    Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com

    Landlords usually have about a week before former tenants move out and new tenants move in.

    “It’s pretty crazy,” said Lana Hawkins of University-Places, which owns six rental homes. “You can’t keep up with the amount of, I’ll call it destruction, because that’s what it is, that students generate. They leave so much trash and you have to clean it all up and throw it all away. We have one week basically to get our six houses ready that have been neglected for an entire year.”

    Because the city of Ann Arbor regulates how far in advance landlords can begin showing and leasing properties, Hawkins said her six homes were leased for fall 2013 as soon as she put them on the market in November 2012.

    The city ordinance says landlords have to wait until 70 days after the current lease period has passed to show or lease a property to interested tenants for the following year.

    moving_students_2012.jpg

    Ann Arbor resident Aspen Davis carries a desk chair past a pile of free items stacked outside her apartment in 2012.

    Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com

    “For the most part, we have bigger houses, so students are pretty aggressive above finding landlords with bigger houses for their groups,” Hawkins said. “It seems to me that a lot of those get taken pretty quickly.”

    Hundreds of people have posted apartments for rent on Craigslist this week, but only a select few apartments are located near U-M’s campus.

    The Varsity, which opened in August at 425 E. Washington St., and City Place, located at 425 S. Fifth Ave., are still advertising bedrooms for rent for fall 2013 on their websites. City Place is advertising fall specials ranging from $845-$945 per person for a six-bedroom unit.

    In early August, Chris Cepeda, a marketing and leasing agent for The Varsity, said about two-thirds of the building’s 415-bedrooms were leased.

    Rick Perlman, developer of Ann Arbor’s Zaragon Place and Zaragon West high-rise apartment buildings, said there isn’t a single vacancy in either building. Together, the buildings have about 450 bedrooms.

    “I don’t have a bed left, not one single bed,” he said. “Zaragon Place and Zaragon West were leased up months ago.”

    “I have waiting lists for next year,” he added.

    Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for AnnArbor.com. Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at lizzyalfs@annarbor.com. Follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lizzyalfs.


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    A clogged sewer pipe in Nichols Arboretum caused an undetermined amount of raw sewage to flow into the Huron River, Ann Arbor officials said on Friday.

    The city was notified by the University of Michigan on Thursday afternoon of reports of a "sewer odor" and "some gray pooled water" in the Arb, city officials said.

    Huron_River_080413_RJS_001.jpg

    Kayakers make their way down the Huron River earlier this month. Because raw sewage reached the river this week, the city took the precaution of closing canoe livery trips in the vicinity — from Argo to Gallup — on Thursday and through Friday.

    Ryan J. Stanton | AnnArbor.com

    Upon investigation, it was determined a sewer pipe was clogged and discharging raw sewage water to the ground surface, flowing overland, and ultimately entering the river.

    "We actually were out there immediately to take care of it," said Jennifer Lawson, the city's water quality manager.

    Lawson said the city found out about the problem around 3 p.m. Thursday, but it's unknown how long it had been going on.

    "Visible flow was observed yesterday," she said, adding the water made its way to the surface through a manhole cover in a grassy, wooded area where people don't normally go.

    The area of the Arb where there are stone steps leading out to the river is where the sewage entered the river, she said, though the water came from a manhole about 30 yards south of there.

    About 5:45 p.m. Thursday, the city's field crews began jetting the line from the downstream manhole, and within a few minutes a blockage was relieved, city officials said.

    After that, the water stopped flowing to the surface. Tree roots were identified as the cause of the blockage.

    While on site Thursday, the city's field staff learned from joggers and other users of the Arb that the area has smelled for about the last week, Lawson said.

    She said no one ever called the city to complain about the problem, though, as some just assumed it was either a dead animal or rotting vegetation.

    "We don't know when it started," she said. "We don't know what the duration of the overflow was — if it was one day or 10 days."

    The sewage that flowed into the river was on its way to the city's wastewater treatment plant and included toilet water, though there were no visible solids, Lawson said. She said the grayish water was leaking out of the manhole at about half the speed of a garden hose.

    The city has applied a lime product to the affected ground area to kill any remaining bacteria. It appears as a white, powdery substance.

    Because the sewage reached the river, the city took the precaution of closing canoe livery trips in the vicinity — from Argo to Gallup — on Thursday and through Friday.

    Body contact is not recommended for at least 24 hours after a known release of raw sewage to waterways, city officials said.

    The city has completed testing and plans to evaluate water quality samples over the next 24 hours for presence of harmful bacteria in the river.

    The determination whether to resume canoe livery operations between Argo and Geddes will be made at 8 a.m. Saturday, based on water sampling results.

    "At this point, we're monitoring to make sure the water quality is safe, but that test takes 24 hours to do," Lawson said.

    In accordance with regulatory protocols, city officials said they contacted the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to inform the state of the incident.

    Lawson said the city will be coordinating with the Arboretum on any plant restoration that's needed, as there was some damage to surrounding vegetation.

    An estimated 10,000 gallons of raw sewage spilled into the Huron River during a June 27 storm that quickly flooded Ann Arbor streets and knocked out power.

    Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at ryanstanton@annarbor.com or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to AnnArbor.com's email newsletters.


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    Dalauren-roberson-lincoln-football-10192012

    Dalauren Roberson and Lincoln will take on Belleville Friday.

    Joseph Tobianski | AnnArbor.com file

    You’ve proven to us that you can vote, Splitter Nation.

    Now, prove to us that you can chat.

    Friday night marks our first high school football Game of the Week chat, to be held at Lincoln’s season opener against Belleville.

    Head on over to Mlive’s High School Sports Network shortly before the 7 p.m. kickoff to see live updates and chat with reporters Kyle Austin and Peter Cunningham, who will be on site at Lincoln.

    We’ll also be pulling in scores from other area games and chatting about everything Ann Arbor area pigskin.

    A reminder that in order to participate in the Game of the Week chats this year, users will need to sing up for MLive.com user accounts. This is separate from your AnnArbor.com user account, so be sure to get on it.


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    083013_SPT_NOODLE_PR.jpeg

    This big Kraft noodle will be removed from Michigan Stadium by Friday night.

    Patrick Record | AnnArbor.com

    If you haven't canoodled with the giant noodle stationed next to the Michigan Stadium scoreboard already, you may have missed your chance.

    The tempers of Michigan football purists were boiling over on Twitter Friday in reaction to what they felt was a promotion too cheesy for the Big House.

    Those with negative reactions to the noodle included student body president Michael Proppe who tweeted “Nothing says @umichfootball tradition like a giant noodle under the scoreboard! I predict many angry donors.”

    Fears of a noodle-tainted game day turned out to be unfounded. The massive macaroni, owned by Kraft Foods Inc., will be removed from the grounds of the stadium long before game time, University of Michigan assistant athletic director David Ablauf said.

    “It’s actually kinda funny, everyone seems to be fixated on a noodle and not about a football game being played tomorrow,” he said.

    “… but it will be moved out of the stadium this evening.”

    The noodle was on site for the inaugural W.O.W. Friday event that the athletic department will be holding on Fridays prior to home football games throughout the season.

    The “Welcoming Our Wolverines” initiative is designed to give fans and students access to Michigan Stadium during non-game times. Ablauf said that since September 11, 2001 it has been difficult arrange tours and other events to show off the Big House.

    According to a news release, 60-minute tours of the Crisler Center and “select areas of Michigan Stadium” will be available on W.O.W. Fridays for $10 per person.

    Ablauf said that the Kraft noodle, which has the company’s “You Know You Like It” slogan printed on it, was brought in to help kick off the events.

    “It’s on site for the event,” he said. “Fans can take their picture with it, it’s something different.”

    Ablauf said he is unsure where the noodle will be moved, or if it will return for future W.O.W. Friday events. He said that the sponsorship agreement to have the noodle at the stadium was between Kraft Foods and IMG College, which handles Michigan’s corporate sponsorships.

    The noodle has been featured over the past 2 years at sites such as Wrigley Field in Chicago, Love Park in Philadelphia and Fisherman’s Wharf in San Fransisco.

    Kraft Foods Company could not be reached Friday for comment.

    Ben Freed covers business for AnnArbor.com. You can sign up here to receive Business Review updates every week. Get in touch with Ben at 734-623-2528 or email him at benfreed@annarbor.com. Follow him on twitter @BFreedinA2


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    083013_Lincoln_vs._Belleville_high_school_football_CS-1.jpg

    Lincoln's K.J. Osborn makes a catch during the first half Friday night against Belleville.

    Courtney Sacco | AnnArbor.com

    Updated at 11:30 p.m.

    Lincoln had a poor week of practice leading up to its season opener, and on Thursday head coach Chris Westfall warned his team the mistakes could creep their way into the game.

    They did, but only for 12 minutes.

    Lincoln overcame some first-quarter jitters to pull away from Belleville and take its season opener, 30-9 Friday night at Railsplitter Field.

    More Coverage: Boxscore | Photo Gallery | Football Roundup

    The Railsplitters fumbled on their second play from scrimmage and recorded only 20 yards of offense in the opening frame.

    “The first half we were definitely nervous, we weren’t moving the ball that well, had some turnovers, three-and-outs to begin with,” Railsplitters quarterback Eugene Smith said.

    But the Railsplitters put up 30 points in the final three frames behind a strong passing attack, while the defense stopped multiple Tigers drives deep in its own territory.

    Lincoln fumbled on its first drive and went three and out on its next two. But it broke through late in the first, when K.J. Osborn caught two passes for 40 yards, and Dalauren Roberson scored on a run from three yards out.

    Smith padded his team’s lead in the second quarter, when on 4th-and-11 he hit Lazon Hicks for a 27-yard touchdown pass.

    Friday marked Smith’s first varsity game, after he quarterbacked the JV team last year. He finished 13-for-22 for 160 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

    “He’s been like that all fall, he’s been really good with the ball, making good decisions with the ball,” Westfall said.

    And he benefited from a talented receiver group, led by Osborn's seven catches for 69 yards.

    “It’s definitely a lot easier to throw to a guy that’s my height,” the 6-foot-3 Smith said.

    On his first carry of the game, Belleville’s JaVonn Gamble rumbled 48 yards to the house early in the second half, breaking multiple tackles along the way. The play was set up by a Lincoln personal foul.

    The touchdown brought the Tigers to within six points early in the second half. But they didn’t score again the rest of the night, as the Lincoln defense stopped seven Belleville drives on their own half of the field.

    “It was really good for the defense, considering they were on their own side of the 50 all night,” Westfall.

    Things looked dicey for Lincoln when four plays into the ensuing drive, Belleville’s Eric Counts recorded an interception. But Lincoln took advantage of a bad punt snap and took over once again on the Belleville 31.

    Five plays later, Smith found Osborn for a 15-yard touchdown pass over the middle, with Osborn stretching across the goal line for the score to put the Railsplitters up 23-9 late in the third.

    With five minutes left, the Railsplitters again benefitted from a bad punt snap. This one gave the Railsplitters the ball on Belleville’s 24-yard-line, and two plays later Smith brought the ball in from six yards out.

    Belleville drove down to the Lincoln 6-yard line with three minutes left, before Lincoln’s Jeff Stokes forced a fumble on a devastating hit from behind and Lincoln ran the clock down until less than two minutes remained.

    Lincoln moves on to take on Huron next week.

    Kyle Austin covers sports for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached at kyleaustin@annarbor.com or 734-623-2535. Follow him on Twitter @KAustin_AA.


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    Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for saline-football-temperance-bedford.jpeg

    AnnArbor.com file photo

    This file will be updated throughout the night.

    Washtenaw County Scoreboard:

    Saline 42, A.B. Lucas 0
    Story | Boxscore

    Trent Theisen ran for two touchdowns and threw for another as Saline opened the football season on Friday with a 42-0 win over A.B. Lucas.

    Theisen hit Nader El-Awar with a 33-yard scoring pass in the first quarter, then ran 13 yards with three minutes left in the first half to give Saline a 28-0 lead. His 1-yard third quarter run closed out the scoring.

    Theisen, making his first varsity start at quarterback, hit 5-of-8 passes for 81 yards, Theisen and Travis Brown combined to hit 12-of-13 passing for 187 yards. Brown hit Griffin Wooley for a 22-yard touchdown less than two minutes into the second quarter.

    "I thought we looked pretty good in all three phases. We scored a special teams touchdown, had a goal line stand and were really efficient on offense," Saline coach Joe Palka said.

    The special teams score came on a 55-yard punt return by El-War.

    Wooley led the rushers with 48 yards on just three carries. Starting junior running back Kevin Gross was lost to a first quarter injury after just three carries. The 6-0, 190-pound Gross ran for 773 yards and 16 touchdowns last season. He also had 327 receiving yards.

    "It's a big blow. He's a star player for us and was a big-time player last year," Palka said. "We have other kids we will rally around. We will make some changes and do what we need to be competitive."

    Saline held A.B. Lucas to 235 total yards. Saline had 361, including 174 on the ground.

    Whitmore Lake 13, Stockbridge 8 (Postponed in 3rd quarter, will resume Saturday, 8:30 a.m.)
    Story | Boxscore

    AnnArbor.com coverage:

    Lincoln 30, Belleville 9
    Story | Boxscore | Photo Gallery

    Milan 7 vs. Ypsilanti Community 6 (Postponed in 3rd quarter, will resume Saturday, 2 p.m.)
    Story | Boxscore | Photo Gallery

    Lansing Sexton 21 vs. Chelsea 14 (4th quarter)
    Story | Boxscore | Photo Gallery


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